NIATx welcomes Puerto Rico

Submitted by: 01/01/2010
Keywords: NIATx Puerto Rico

The NIATx model of process improvement is expanding not only to other areas of behavioral health—most notably, mental health—but also to another language and culture in Puerto Rico.

Bilingual coaches Angie Maldonado (of the Center for Drug-free Living in Orlando, Florida) and Carolyn Donlan-Castro (of JBS International, Bethesda, Maryland) travelled to Puerto Rico for a "Kick-off Meeting" and training session in September 2009. The training took place at the Government Center in Caguas.

The participating sites, located in five municipalities in east central Puerto Rico, include:

Corporación Milagros del Amor

  • Yamina Apolinaris—Executive Sponsor
  • Sandra Roque—Change Leader


  • Iván Moratiel—Executive Sponsor
  • Ana Báez—Change Leader

Programa Fénix/Sanos

  • Executive Sponsor: tba
  • Maribel—Change Leader

Hogar Resurrección

  • José Torres—Executive Sponsor
  • Sarah Castro—Change Leader

Metadona Caguas

  • Felicitas de Jesús—Executive Sponsor
  • Marcos García—Change Leader

Llevando Luz a las Tinieblas

  • Armando Rijos—Executive Sponsor
  • Kathy López—Change Leader

Dr. Ángel Gonzáles— Project Director, NIATx Puerto Rico Dra. Carmen Albizu—Executive Sponsor, NIATx Puerto Rico

Says Angie, "The initial Kick-off meeting and the training were conducted entirely in Spanish, although many of the attendees are bilingual. We used a NIATx PI 101 presentation translated into Spanish."

Angie and Carolyn modified the training to make it as interactive as possible and to allow time for questions, "since this was the first time that some of the agencies had heard of NIATx."

Most of the agencies have completed a walk-through, and some of them have already completed more than one change cycle. Angie and Carolyn are very pleased with the participants' enthusiasm and energy, and they look forward to site visits scheduled for the first week of February.

"NIATx Puerto Rico offers so many lessons on how to adapt the NIATx model to another language and culture," adds Angie.

NIATx Puerto Rico will also have its own web page on, to share more NIATx Tools and information in Spanish and also to share the project's successes with the NIATx community.

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